by ‘Jola Sotubo
According to emerging reports, the decision to suspend former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not an isolated one, rather it was the result of a well hatched plot.
Oyinlola had been declared the rightful National Secretary of the PDP by an appeal court 2 weeks ago but was suspended instead of reinstated.
It has been said that the ruling of the court was at first welcomed by some prominent members of the PDP who convinced President Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate Oyinlola to enable peace reign within the party.
However, this decision proved to be short lived as the president was ‘ambushed’ by Chairman Bamanga Tukur and his followers, who convinced him that to reinstate Oyinlola would be ‘dangerous’.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY gathered that no sooner had the Court of Appeal ruling been given, than some chieftains of the party, led by Chief Tony Anenih and Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State prevailed on President Goodluck Jonathan to allow Oyinlola’s return, as it would go a long way in healing the wounds and rifts in the party. They further said that it would also show the willingness of the Jonathan administration to abide by the rule of law.
It was after this first meeting that, paying heed to this counsel, President Jonathan ordered the immediate reinstatement of Oyinlola as the party’s secretary, a move that pleased some chieftains of the PDP.
However, what seemed like respite for Oyinlola lasted only a few hours, as the NWC of the PDP suspended him soon afterwards, no thanks to a powerful delegation from the party led by the national chairman Bamanga Tukur, which ‘ambushed’ the president in the Villa and convinced him of the ‘dangers’ of allowing Oyinlola’s return.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY gathered that after a closed door meeting, held at the insistence and residence of Tukur in Abuja, the president’s political adviser Ahmed Gulak, chairman of PDP’s disciplinary commitee Alhaji Umaru Dikko and erstwhile deputy Senate president, Ibrahim Mantu resolved to proceed to the Villa and talk with the president on the need to keep Oyinlola at arm’s length, at least for now.
“At the meeting with the president, they told him of the danger of allowing Oyinlola, who is neck deep into the activities of the new PDP and has even assumed the [position of] secretary of the factionalised group and has been hobnobbing with the G7 governors, threatening to pull away from the party.
They opined that Oyinlola’s return would be political suicide as aside playing the mole, the party could not risk leaving sensitive party documents with such an individual. It was after about an hour’s deliberations that an obviously attentive president was convinced and then asked for possible solutions,” a source disclosed to LEADERSHIP FRIDAY.
Outright dismissal and suspension were put forward as options to the president, who cautioned that expulsion would overheat the polity and send the wrong signals. The source said that an overwhelmed Jonathan then reluctantly agreed to the suspension of Oyinlola, over issues to do with discipline.
The PDP had, in expelling former chairman Kawu Baraje, erstwhile deputy national chairman Sam Sam Jaja along with Oyinlola, said that the trio were singled out for grievous party offenses, as they had taken up positions in the new PDP pronounced illegal by the courts.
Needless to say, Oyinlola’s first tenure as the scribe of the PDP never augured well with Tukur, as both men were locked in bitter rivalry and power play.